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jackques

What kind of tape to use for surface?

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Hello all,

I'm a student from the Netherlands and have been using the 3D Ultimaker for quite some time now, making nice looking little toy figurines with my schools ultimaker.

Check out the cool little toy factory it printed:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8164925/ultimaker%20fotos/IMAG0515.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8164925/ultimaker%20fotos/IMAG0516.jpg

For my school project I need to make a lot more of these but every time I encouter a very time consuming and difficult chore. The material which comes out of the 3D printer "sticks" on the taped surface of the plateau.. making it very difficult to remove the figurines..

I've tried everything from taping the surface with normale plastic tape, to special painter's tape but every time I got the same problem. In order to even remove it, i need to remove the entire tape like so:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8164925/ultimaker%20fotos/IMAG0568.jpg

And sometimes this causes the 3D models to break, unfortunatelly:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8164925/ultimaker%20fotos/IMAG0517.jpg

So what I'm asking is if anyone has any advice for me on what to do with the surface? I always need to use circular shapes in my 3D models,.. I dont have a choice in that..

Currently i'm using this kind of tape for the surface:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8164925/ultimaker%20fotos/IMAG0566.jpg

Maybe use other tape?

 

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If you clean the tape with isopropyl alcohol it will be even sticker. So DON'T CLEAN THE TAPE. Use fresh tape and it won't be so sticky. By the second print it will be stickier so I would change the tape after every print.

Also you can increase the skin thickness in Cura to make the edge of the cylinder stronger. Go at least 1.2mm (4 passes of .4mm nozzle).

Lift the edge with a knife carefully. Be patient. Then when you get a little space, use a putty knife.

 

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Although still using the standard unheated bed I use Kapton tape with a width of 200mm. These are the pros/cons:

+ VERY smooth surface of your prints

+/- reasonable adhesion

+ no joint of the tape stripes visible on the print

+ PLA warping doesn't loose the tape from the bed

+ the same tape can be used much longer than the Painter's tape

+ no degrading of the adhesion after some prints

- changing the tape requires some time

It is often mentioned that Kapton tape is more expensive than the blue Painter's tape. I'm not sure this is really true. I think the widest blue Painter's tape you can get is 38.5mm. Therefore you need quite some tape for covering the whole bed. And you have to change it much more often than Kapton tape. But I haven't done a proper calculation yet.

However, I didn't throw my blue Painter's tape away. For some prints it is nice to have a rough surface on the bottom. Especially the blue Painter's tape from Ultimaker is quite rough...

@gr5: I do the fine tuning of the z-positon in the start.gcode accordingly to "never change a proper leveled system"... :-)

 

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Hi,

I have the same "problem" but I do not see it as a problem anymore, I just renew the damaged tape after each print. That became a lot easier when I discovered that the wide tesa tape I use now (see picture) works just as well and it's a lot cheaper, I buy it at the praxis store but every other hardware store should have it too.

I also tried cheaper tape but that came off during printing.

2013-10-25111226_zps75168d65.jpg

Groet Dree

 

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The problem with changing tape is that you have to remove the acrylic bed and this means you have to re-level the bed every time. That's one of the most anoying tasks related to 3d printing in my opinion :/

Another option would be to print directly on glass (without a heated bed). Check out this post:

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/3016-while-waiting-for-the-heated-bed-printing-on-glass/

 

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I used to change my tape every print. Now I have a heated bed, but I still often use tape.. I never remove my bed (heated or acrylic). The tape doesn't have to be neat... often I only put a couple of strips of tape in the middle where the model will actually be printing. It takes only a couple of seconds to peel off the old tape, pull a length of tape off the roll, and slap it on the bed. No removal of the bed or re-levelling required.

Cheers,

Troy.

 

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The problem with changing tape is that you have to remove the acrylic bed and this means you have to re-level the bed every time. That's one of the most anoying tasks related to 3d printing in my opinion :/

Another option would be to print directly on glass (without a heated bed). Check out this post:

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/3016-while-waiting-for-the-heated-bed-printing-on-glass

 

That is not my experience with the leveling. My pre-assembled UM only required a few re-levelings since I got it (months ago, and at least 100 prints ago), and I remove the acrylic bed after about half the prints for removal of very sticky objects. I am very careful not to move the wooden frame too much. The spring loaded supports seem to always come back to the right spot. I initially copmressed the springs to half their height,

And as for the glass, I am experimenting with a heated Basalt bed. PLA sticks if the bed is warm enough (above 70C), and them just pops off when the bed cools down. No extra finishing was required. The bed takes a long time to cool and I am still working on getting it hot enough for ABS (maybe 100C with a stronger power supply).

 

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That is not my experience with the leveling. My pre-assembled UM only required a few re-levelings since I got it (months ago, and at least 100 prints ago), and I remove the acrylic bed after about half the prints for removal of very sticky objects. I am very careful not to move the wooden frame too much. The spring loaded supports seem to always come back to the right spot. I initially copmressed the springs to half their height,

 

Then it seems my build varied greatly from yours. I remember that even small movements of the acrylic bed were enough to mess up the leveling. Let alone taking it off.

 

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Then it seems my build varied greatly from yours. I remember that even small movements of the acrylic bed were enough to mess up the leveling. Let alone taking it off.

 

The only thing I can think of here is that the springs are very touchy, and the bed must neatly rest between the spring loaded washer and the screw-head. It is too easy in a 4-point system to have one of those points too high or too low.

 

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One thing that helped the stability of my bed a lot was adding larger washers, so that there was never any danger of the washers edges getting caught in the keyhole cutouts. That made it a lot easier to level effectively. I've also subsequently installed stronger springs and longer screws so as to ensure that the screws have proper bite into the delrin blocks they screw into.

I now only ever have to relevel every week or two, or if switching print surfaces. I sometimes print on unheated Kapton tape also (one side of my bed has blue tape, the other Kapton). It's good for small parts, but offers very little resistance to warping, and parts tend to pop loose when the bottom layer finally cools to room temp - which can happen in the middle of long prints.

I can take the bed off my printer, and re-install it without upsetting the leveling - but I rarely take it off - I retape it with it installed - using 6" wide tape, it just takes a few seconds to lay a square of tape in the middle of the bed - and it only costs a few cents per piece.

As I've said before, for me, resisting warping is the most important consideration, so I usually wipe the tape with alcohol to get good adhesion, and accept that I'm going to tear the tape each time. Any tape stuck to the bottom of the print will come off totally clean if soaked in more alcohol for a few mins - so I get a nice flat, clean, crepe-textured bottom to my prints, and zero problems with warping.

 

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One thing that helped the stability of my bed a lot was adding larger washers, so that there was never any danger of the washers edges getting caught in the keyhole cutouts. That made it a lot easier to level effectively. I've also subsequently installed stronger springs and longer screws so as to ensure that the screws have proper bite into the delrin blocks they screw into.

 

That's exactly what I did. I added to big washers in order to prevent the springs from getting stuck:

Warped Z stage

 

It doesn't matter now because I have sold my UM Original, but I remember that it sucked to re-level often.

 

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The problem with changing tape is that you have to remove the acrylic bed and this means you have to re-level the bed every time

After the first month or so I almost never have to re-level my bed anymore, I think now the last time was three weeks ago, I print every day, I always take my bed of to remove my prints because they are stuck very well to the bed and have to use some force to remove the print, by taking the bed of I don't put that force on the springs.

I use the original washers and springs, no problem there.

The only thing I did a month after building the UM was to screw down the bed half a cm and re adjust the Z limit switch.

Dree

2013-10-26101913_zps152f0c0c.jpg

 

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Hey Jackques

If you are looking for an easy way to remove the models undamaged and don't mind removing your bed, one thing you can do is just drop the bed into a tub of water. Eventually (10 minutes maybe?) the tape will unstick itself from the acrylic. I have printed some very delicate models and have removed them this way. The tape even seems to come off of the model easily too. I use blue painters tape.

Maybe you could get two beds and swap them out between prints?

If you don't want to remove your bed due to leveling issues you could also have some glass plates cut at about 8.5in by 9.5in and put that on top of your build plate with a couple of binder clips, (since the glass for all intensive purposes are the same thickness). This allows you to swap printing surfaces without re-leveling your bed. I have recently (yesterday) tried this and it seemed to work fine for the couple of prints I tried.

Either way food for though.

 

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